Joplin's Union Depot awaits restoration.
More Photos coming soon
Just a stones throw from Route 66 as it enters Joplin from the north, is the old Union Railroad Depot, one of the first "Prairie Style"  depots built west of the Mississippi River.  It has a rich history of passenger service between Joplin and other cities of the midwest.  The structure has been vacant for over 20 years and is in the possession of the Missouri Dept. of Natural Resources.  It is on the National Register of Historic Places and is eligible for Historic Tax Credits for a redeveloper.

A unique opportunity now exists for the State and the City of Joplin to restore and use this structure as a railroad museum AND a Route 66 welcome station for visiting travelers to Joplin's Main Street.  Proposals have also included several Railroad and Route 66 "themed" restaurants, displays of antique automobiles and railroad galleries, a theater for showing programs about Joplin and it's history, a photo gallery of Joplin's famous movie & television stars and sports ledgends and a visitor information center that will have brochures and maps that indicate historic locations and guides to the downtown business district in the Route 66 corridor.
Now sitting on 4 acres of land, expanded ample parking would be provided for larger vehicles and RV's for as long as the visitors wish to spend seeing the sights.  The Union Depot is just north of Joplin's main post office on 1st. street and Main, and can be seen from Route 66 as you cross the Broadway bridge heading west. 
Photos of the original Route 66 road from 1st. Street and Main to the old Broadway Bridge, which
was torn down and replaced with the new Broadway Bridge that now enters Main Street on 2nd. St.
Scenes from Joplin's Downtown Main Street / Route 66 Corridor.
The old "Cosden" gas station (above) still sits at the corner of 1st. and Virginia (Old Route 66 is on the left), and dates back to the early 50's. It is now "John & Dave's Auto Repair.  According to Dave Wright, "No one ever comes by because they don't know about the original route being moved one block south of us".
The sign on the left is one of 2 originals. The words "Self Service" were added much later. 

A second sign was sold to a collector.
The slanted front windows were common in the 50's, and the pump island supports are down.
To find this location, turn north on Virginia at the west end of the Broadway Bridge.
The pitch roof was added to the small building along with a rear cement block addition
What Route 66 Ruins are these?

These long abandoned small structures just up the hill from 66 on the Missouri side of the Kansas border, west of Joplin, are of an old restaurant that served Route travelers many decades ago.
The small building on the left  contains 2 separate toilets. Their roofs have been collapsed by fallen trees.

On the right, what looks like a stone retaining wall was actually  a chicken coop, the backside barely visible throught the weeds.

About 4 structures remain, and were constructed of cement and native stone.  The sloping hill was recently mowed.
Constructed using native rock and mortar, these ruins are probably from the 20's or 30's era of Route 66.

The gently sloping hillside had additional buildings which were totally removed years ago.
Joplin Museum Complex
Located just off Route 66 in Joplin's Schifferdecker Park (west 7th. St.), this Museum preserves and exhibits Joplins Mining and Route 66 era history, including the Bonnie and Clyde artifacts,
a drug store and famous Saloon that were on Route 66, and Joplin's famous sons, Mickey Mantle, Dennis Weaver, Bob Cummings and others. 
Above: Percy Katz takes a nap near the entry door.  Percy was taken in as a lost kitten and is now the "Official" greeter of the Museum.  He has been held by Missouri's Governor and countless kids who return just to the museum to visit Percy. (See News Page)
Above, a sample of many of the historical home and business re-creations featured in the Museum. The Park is where early Route travelers camped and there is a monument to Will Rodgers overlooking the Mother Road that also bears his name.
Museum Hours:
Tues. 10 am. to 7 pm.
Wed.-Sat., 10 am. - 5 pm.
Sun., 2 to 5 pm.
Closed Mondays.
There is a small admission fee
Missouri side of Kansas Border on Old Route 66
Right: "Stateline Liquors" is located just a few yards from the MO./KS. border, and served many Kansans when Kansas was a "dry" state.  >





Right:  Old Phillips 66 gas station, slated for future restoration >



Left:  This "old" Phillips gas pump is actually a fiberglass replica.  Two are located in front of the Paddock Liquor store on the right, which also contains a convenience store with a drive thru.  Gas was also sold here as far back as the 1940's as indicated by the photo below, right.
Outlaws travel Route 66 in the 30's
Bank robbers, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow
were known to travel on the Mother Road.  In the mid-thirty's, the Barrow gang rented this garage apartment in Joplin to hide-out for a while.
They were soon surrounded by county deputies and the Joplin Police, and a huge gun battle broke-out.  Two law enforcement officers were killed and the Barrow gang escaped.  Bonnie and Clyde were driving a Ford exactly like to one pictured below.  Film in a camera left behind contained photos of the Barrow gang, some members previously unknown to the police. 
Also, a necklace that belonged to Bonnie was recovered and is on display in the Joplin Museum, off 66 in West Joplin. 
ABOVE:  The garage apartment is located Off-66 in south Joplin on 34th. St., 2 blocks west of Main.  It is vacant now, pending conversion into a Bed and Breakfast  rental.  There remains marks in the stone from bullets fired during the shoot-out. 
This photo was taken during the "Big Flood" sometime during World War II and shows the corner of Main Street and 5th. Street in Joplin and shows the
J.J. Newberry 5-10-25 Cent Store.

Note the road signs on the lamp post,
MISSOURI US 66, MISSOURI US 71 
and MISSOURI (State Road) 43.

The old Broadway (Route 66) - First St. Viaduct
Kansas City Southern Railway served the Joplin Area.
Backside of the Union Depot showed covered walkway taken to board the trains.
Union Depot fronted Joplin's Main Street (Route 66  1935 Alternate) and the original Route 66 entered from the Broadway Viaduct  to 1st. Street on the right end.  Several buildings are now located in front of the Depot ( where the lawn is shown) including a U.S. Post Office.
Mansion on the Route
This beautiful residence / horse ranch overlooks many acres of pasture land and is located west of Joplin on Route 66.
Magnificent  horses (below) are grazing underneath fall foliage. Route 66 is shown in the background.  (Below right) A close up of the man-made waterfalls.  This spectacular vista is located between Joplin and Galena, 2 mi. from the state line.
Sunny Jims Ozark Candy Farm...a "Sweet" stop Route 66 in West Joplin in the 50's & 60's.
Foreground shows work on the Route 66 re-alignment in the 60's
Above: A summer view of Sunny Jim's during it's hey-days of the early 60's.. Most of the original sign remains.
Below: Noticed how the Joplin Auto Auction later modified the original structure.
     After the re-alignment of Route 66, Sunny Jim's Ozark Candy Farm closed it's doors.  In later years, the original building was expanded in all directions and became the Joplin Auto Auction.  Today the 40 acre property, which includes two aged houses and lots of pavement, is up for sale....for $600,000.00!   The front portion of the original structure was converted into a diner-style restaurant (shown on right). 
     Considering the location is just one mile from the MO. - KS. border, this site would make an excellent Route 66 Welcome Center for both states, and could include a Deli & Restaurant, a large gift - candy - grocery store, a vehicle maintenance and detailing center,  several manager apartments on the second story and the huge paved parking lot can accomodate the overnight parking of trucks with a separate area for RV's and campers.  A large motel could also be constructed on property at the top of the hill.
Sunny Jim's Candy store and factory was relocated to this spot on old Route 66 in west Joplin after operating in downtown Joplin from 1933 to 1954. The store closed in 1965 due to the popularity of the interstate and the re-alignment of 66 that caused limited access to customers.

Above:  Huge rear, lighted parking area.        
Left & below: The backside of Union Depot shows part of the property that could be used for a connecting Hotel and expanded parking.
View from "new" Route 66, just east of "Old 66" Turn-off to KS.
Left:  Located across from the Paddock Liquor Store was the Oasis Nightclub, a popular party place where folks from Joplin and Galena, KS. jitterbugged all night.  The building was torn down many years ago, replaced by several modular homes today.
BACK
Joplin, MO.
FALL 2013 UPDATE: Newly announced grant will bring rebirth for historic depot


JOPLIN, Mo. — It was announced in October, 2013 that the old Joplin Union Depot has received a 5.4 million dollar grant, and it will be restord as a Living Arts Center!

More details will be announced here when they become available.

July, 2010
Rendering of Restored Union Depot
Click here to see our 2 "Route 66 in Joplin" TV programs.
ROUTE 66 
Tour Guide
KS. and S.W. MO
UNION DEPOT on FACEBOOK
Special Joplin 
Tornado Website
The 2013 International Route 66 Festival was held in Joplin, MO. August 1st. - 3rd. 

The Route 66 Festival is an annual event for Mother Road enthusiasts to celebrate the heritage of Route 66, and educate the public about the significance of the historic road's history.

The Route 66 Chamber of Commerce played a role in getting the Alliance and the City together to discuss the possible 2013 venue, and plans for the Festival in Joplin were started in earnest.  

The official website for this event was:  http://www.route66internationalfestival.com/
Author Michael Wallis, Route 66 Alliance and the voice of the "Sheriff" in Pixar's "CARS" signs posters at the drive-in.

Below: Michael poses with Dean Walker, the inspiration for Mater's backwards driving
Pixar's full-size replica "CARS" at the drive-in.
The popular Route 66 Band, The Road Crew, performed in Galena, KS. and in Joplin.
Mater and Lightning bask in the warm sunshine while Classic Cars are on display nearby!
Route 66 Authors, Artists, Collectors and Exhibitors were located in the Christman Events Center during the Festival.
The Sign Stop is located in Webb City Missouri near Joplin, but ships anywhere! Call today for an estimate or to get your questions answered on any sign designs.
Route 66 Signs & Decals    
Car & Truck Graphics
Trailers & Vans   Graphic Wraps
Custom Banners & Signs

Link:  Sign Stop.com
Locally-Owned & Located on Historic Route 66
Joplin's most popular attraction!  The Chocolate Factory and Candy House
Featuring Route 66 Chocolates and Candy!
Free Tours - Holiday Specials
Phone: 417-623-7171    Toll-free: 877-623-7171    Schedule a Tour: 877-623-7171  
Open Monday - Saturday, 9:30 - 5:30    Sunday, 12:30 - 5:30   510 South Kentucky Ave. 
Directions: On Main Street (Route 66), at 5th. and Main go East 3 blocks to Kentucky , on  corner.   
Click here 
See their Website...
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
JOPLIN
ON ROUTE 66 IN
JOPLIN, MO.
The Route 66 Sports Bar & Restaurant is now open in Joplin and features excellent food and a full bar in a comfortable family setting.

A private dining room is available for groups that are traveling the Route and plans are underway for Classic Car and Cycle Rallies this season. Call ahead to reserve the private dining room.

An outside patio deck provides another alternative to indoor dining and the service is friendly and professional. 

A full menu includes Appetizers, Soups & Salads, Sandwiches, Burgers and Chef-Prepared Specialty Entrees such as New England Style Steamed Salmon, Grilled Chicken Boursin, Greek Lasagna  Pasticcio, Steak, Lobster, Fish and Tenderloin Dishes!

Visit their Website
Or call 417-621-0000
​The 66 Sports Bar & Restaurant is located at 1729 E. 7th. St. in Joplin.  If you are following the Original Route 66 heading South from Webb City, when you turn onto St. Louis St., continue South all the way to 7th. St.. The Restaurant will be on the N.W. corner before the traffic light. ( They can tell you how to get back to the old Route.)   If you decide to take the Final Route, stay on Range Line Rd. to 7th. St., turn right on 7th. St. and the Restaurant will be on the N.W. corner at the second traffic light (7th. & St. Louis).